Black Friday


A Very Difficult Kidding

The weekend of 12 – 14 December 2003 was one of the worst weekends we have had since we started raising goats. In the five years we have had goats, we have lost a few. An uncle told us when we started that if you don’t want to lose any animals then don’t have any. He said, "No matter how much you try, if you have animals, you are going to lose some."
Two years ago, we lost a doe during birth. She did not dilate and the first baby was dead. Our vet was able to get the dead kid out, and the second one was a cute little male; but over night we lost the doe. She was in labor for about 10 hours, both kids were ‘pulled’ and she was just too stressed.
I have assisted in a dozen or so kiddings, a set of triplets and a couple times with yearlings. I have not had to ‘go in’, but assisted by pulling gently downward to assist the head out or to straighten the legs before the swish. I had not had the problems we had that weekend.

Our first SA had kidded twice, both times big healthy does. Since she had never had a problem, we were sure all would go well again. I checked on her often over the 24 hours preceding the birth. The last time I checked her before the first birth, she was not in labor nor did she seem stressed, just hungry as normal. Pat went down first that morning; I was feeding at the top of the hill. She found the dead kid - a brown headed doe. We brought Venus into the barn and started taking care of her. She was moaning for the dead kid and passing her afterbirth.


On someone’s web page, I read if you put your arms around the rear end of the doe and locked your fingers just in front of her back legs and pulled up, you could feel if there was another baby. I wrapped my arms around her and gently squeezed, and I could feel a kid moving inside. We watched her for some time and after about two hours she went into labor, but no feet, no nose. After about 10 to 20 minutes, we knew we had a problem. If she had not been Venus, I guess would have probably wadded in, but this was not just any goat.

Time to call in a pro!!
Our vet is great. A real goat vet. He cares about my goats. I went to the house and called him. He was in surgery but would be at our place in 25 minutes. 25 minutes later he drove down the hill to the barn. Within minutes he was with Venus - working to turn the kid. It was breech. He was concerned about the kid rupturing Venus’ uterus while he was attempting to turn it.

It took quite a while, 10 to 15 minutes, to turn the kid and pull it out. The second one died in the vets hands.

He cleaned out the afterbirth, gave her a couple of shots (oxytocin, gentamicin, and banamine), and told us he wanted to see her in a day or so. He also left 12 cc of the genamycin to be given at the rate of 2 cc at 12 hour intervals, 2 syringes (3 cc each) of oxytocin to be given at 4 and 8 hours later. Further he prescribed 2 cc of flunixamine (the generic name for banamine) to be given the next day along with 3 cc long-lasting penicillin every 12 hours.
Each of the drugs has a specific purpose. The oxytocin causes the uterus to contract thus expelling any partially retained placenta.
Gentamicin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic used to treat infections caused by many different types of bacteria. Gentamicin is usually intramuscular injection. This drug is not approved for “meat” animals, but Venus will never be sold for meat. The long-lasting penicillin kills specific bacteria different from the aminoglycoside antibiotic, thus the decision by Dr. Galbraith to use the two together.
Banamine is a brand name of flunixin meglumine and is a-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that rapidly reduces fever. The flunixamine is used to control pain in goats. Aspirin could also have been used, but Banamine works faster.
Three days later we took Venus in to Dr. Galbraith’s office where he flushed her uterus. Because she was running a fever of 104, he decided to change her medication from penicillin to naxcel. Naxcel is a broad-spectrum, injectable antibiotic most commonly known as a treatment of respiratory diseases.
We had lost two beautiful full SA doelings, and our prize Venus was in much stress. No weekend has been this bad, ever…. Had Dr. Galbraith not gotten out to our place as fast as he did, we would most certainly have lost Venus.

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Ken and Pat Motes
Clear Creek Farms
33 South Clear Creek Road
Fall River, Tennessee 38468
Phone: (931) 852-2167
Fax: (931) 852-2168

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